Hal Yeager/The Plain Dealer
Considering that he’s the presumptive number one overall pick in the NBA Draft, Nerlens has done a pretty exceptional job of laying low these last few months. Sure, there was that All-Access video a little while ago, and he made an appearance in Chicago for the combine– but, since leaving Lexington for Birmingham, it has been evident that Noel’s only priority is putting in the work necessary to get back on the court as quickly as possible. And apparently, that effort is starting to pay off.
According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, not only is Nerlens ahead of schedule (Kevin Wilk, who is in charge of his rehab said, quote: “He’s doing fantastic… I don’t think he could be doing better”)– He’s also apparently pushing himself much harder than the pundits who question his progress can even fathom. Here’s a quick rundown of what an average day of rehab looks like for the former Cat:
-Arrive at rehab center at 10 AM.
–Pre-exercise treatment from trainers.
–20 different exercises; 3 sets of 10 reps for each exercise (lunges, squats, balance ball drills, etc).
–Strength and conditioning with Luke Wakefield, Director of Athletic Performance.
–Lunch break at 2PM.
–Leave rehab center at 4PM.
–2 hours of on court drills; light shooting, no jumping.
–Leave basketball gym at 6PM.
–Rinse and repeat; over, and over, and over again.
Overall, it’s a pretty extensive article, and definitely worth a few minutes of your time. Not only does it provide good insight into what Nerlens has been going through, but it gives a glimpse of the road that lies ahead as well. And while I have no doubt that he’ll beat the odds get back on the court sooner than excepted, that road is an extraordinarily long one. He’ll get there eventually, though. That I’m sure of.
And as to what the big man thinks about the Chris Broussards of the world? Well, I’ll leave you with this exchange:
Nerlens Noel is stretched out on a training table at the Champion Sports Medicine rehabilitation center, watching ESPN’s Chris Broussard discussing his NBA future.
Noel, the former Kentucky center, is projected as the No. 1 pick in the draft despite the torn left knee ligament that landed him here after surgery by the renowned Dr. James Andrews 11 weeks ago.
“He may not be back until Christmas … if at all,” Broussard says of Noel’s upcoming rookie season.
Noel, who is sipping a protein shake after putting in a hard two hours in his first session of the day, shakes his head.
“They don’t know,” he says, softly.
By they, he means anybody who isn’t watching as many as six hours of rehab a day, at least six days a week at the facility Andrews recommended, with additional non-jumping shooting drills for at least an hour a day and twice that much on weekends.